The Red Colony

Prompt Day #323: The old expression for being “wanted” is “having a price on your head.” Make this a literal concept, regardless of whether the piece you create is about a “wanted” man or not.

A couple thoughts on this one: I like the idea of this futuristic moral point clock world where your deeds police themselves. I think it could be a cool novel, but I don’t right futuristic sci-fi so any sci-fi writers out there—take it and run with it (or write me a nasty comment telling me that this idea has already been done and I am an idiot) I don’t know. Anyways, obviously the story isn’t complete (See, Kari, I admit it this time)and probably needs some work (please DO NOT send me nasty messages about how this makes no sense or if this is so, then how can this…? Because you know what? I don’t know! I just wrote this, one a day people…it ain’t easy!) But I do like the premise, I just can’t write this stuff.


The Red Colony

                Sometimes I try to imagine what people looked like without the numbers floating above their heads. What would you look at first? Their eyes? Their mouth? My grandmother told me once that when she was young, new born babies got to go home after only a day or two because they didn’t have to stay for a week having their chips implanted and programed. I can’t imagine the freedom of never having to think about what you do every second of your life.

But that was before the prisons filled past capacity, before laws in general had to be re-evaluated. The fact is, we all break laws, we all do bad things when we think we can get away with it. Only now, since the chips, we don’t “get away with it”, not really. Everything we do is broadcast on the holographic pictures projected just above our heads. It’s not as bad as you might think. We get plenty of wiggle room. My Grandmother was the first generation born to have the chips implanted. They were only given one hundred moral points but then, so many people plummeted into the red so fast we almost put ourselves into extinction. By the time I was born, we were allotted five hundred MPs.

At eighteen, I’m down to two hundred. It’s not too bad actually; most people lose most of their MPs in their teen years. Underage drinking, drugs, shoplifting a lot of misdemeanors. They aren’t worth too many points though so you can still have a lot of fun. Not like rape and murder; those could drop you into the red after one offense. The only good thing I can say about this system, is there is no need for courts and trials. The MPs are wired into your brain, the points projected off your head, are accurate and can’t be disputed. If you lost MPs, you deserved it.

The Red Colony is no place for anyone who lost their MPs by committing a bunch of petty offenses. It’s rare to get in the red by only misdemeanor offenses, but it can and has been done. Those are the first ones to die in the Red Colony. They are easy targets, easy MPs to steal. Bounty Hunters are the only Greenheads allowed in the Red Colony but it also makes them targets as well. When you’re a killer, and you know the Greenheads are there to take your life and numbers, it’s kill or be killed. As I said, the Red Colony is a dangerous free-for-all and no place for petty criminals.

I never had any desire to be a Bounty Hunter. Turning red chips in for extra greens is a dangerous business and not worth the risk. Plenty of Greenheads have never come back from the colony and sometimes when a greenhead comes back, he or she is not the same one who went in. Oh yes, there are underhanded ways to transfer MPs. If you’re not too deep in the red, you could get back in the green and get out. It’s been done more times than anyone would like to admit. When you’re already in the red, what’s one more death going to do besides make you worth more to the next hunter that shows up? The thing is, most Bounty Hunters are hired by families of victims. They aren’t necessarily after the most MPs, they’re after revenge. The families give the MPs to the hunters as payment.

My brother got shipped to the Red Colony when all of his petty crimes caught up with him and put him at red fifteen. He was shipped to the colony before Mom and I could purchase black market MPs to get him back in the green. So I lost fifty points and my brother in the process. I have no choice now, I’m going to train to be a Bounty Hunter and I’m going into the colony to get him back.